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Jeremy Hunt reappointed as health secretary

Prime Minister Theresa May has reappointed Jeremy Hunt as health secretary in her new minority Government following last week's general election.

Mr Hunt, already the longest-serving health secretary, was reelected as MP for South West Surrey after receiving 56% of the public vote in his constituency.

He had been challenged by NHS Action Party candidate and GP, Dr Louise Irvine, who came second with 20% of the vote.

Ms May appointed her cabinet yesterday, after announcing on Friday she would form a minority Government shored up by Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

But Mr Hunt will be forced to appoint a new team of health ministers after two out of three lost their MP seats in the election, including primary care minister David Mowat and public health minister Nicola Blackwood.

And the announcement of Mr Hunt's reappointment was not universally popular with GPs, who took to Twitter to express their concern.

Doncaster LMC medical secretary Dr Dean Eggitt said that Mr Hunt's NHS austerity policies were harming patient care.

And Dr Zoe Norris, a GP in Hull and the chair of the BMA’s sessional GP committee, said simply:

Mr Hunt, who replaced Andrew Lansley as health secretary five years ago, has been the person in charge of overseeing the rollout of Mr Lansley's largely unpopular Health and Social Care Act 2012 reforms, including the formation of NHS England and competitive tenders for all healthcare contracts.

He also faced the wrath of the health profession for imposing the new junior doctor contract last year.

He has yet to react to his latest reappointment, having said last summer following the post-Brexit referendum reshuffle that he was ‘thrilled to be back in the best job in government’.

GPC chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul, who will become chair of the BMA at the end of this month, told Pulse: 'The overriding issue for the NHS is government austerity policy and its denial of the pressures in the NHS and growing health care needs.

'Until we address this fundamental issue and have change of the austerity policy, from the top, then whoever the health secretary is is a secondary issue.'

Dr Nagpaul added that until the issue of a 'bankrupt NHS budget' was addressed, ensuring general practice receives the required funding will be 'impossible'.

Readers' comments (33)

  • I KNOW-IT IS BAD !!!!!!!!!

    IT SHOWS JUST HOW "OUT OF TOUCH MAY IS".

    SHE RE-APPOINTS THE SAME SUGGESTED "BULLY" WHO HAS BEEN OBSESSIVELY TARGETING HEALTHCARE WORKERS.

    HUNT IS CONSIDERED "VERY UNPLEASANT" BUT HIS "MASTER" IS MORE OF A WORRY.

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  • But now they don't have a mandate!

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  • South West Surrey MP ! Wasn't that Virginia Bottomley's old seat ? Are they related by any chance ?

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  • 11.13am-strangely Yes !

    Draw your own conclusions.........

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  • oh dear, oh dear , oh dear

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  • A kick in the butt only evoked crocodile tears - no lessons were learnt !

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  • A missed opportunity to build bridges with the various professional groups.

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  • Virginia is his auntie, a little bit of nepotism.I think as a member of the Bowes Lyon family, his ancestors in their time were used to riding round on white horses telling the serfs what to to and when to jump.Which might explain his(and the Tories) man management.

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  • When it came to volunteering for the health job, I imagine everyone else was sitting on their hands, looking at the floor and one or two quietly muttered "Jeremy".

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  • Lets face it, health is poisoned chalice of a brief. At the end of the day he's doing the bidding of the DOH. Unfortunately for us he seems to like it. Theresa May's plans are now doomed to failure and he will probably go down on her sinking ship.

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